JACKSON, Tenn. – April 21, 2006– Union University trustees on April 21 approved a record $50 million budget and recommitted themselves to “Union 2010,” the long-range plan for the university that calls for new graduate programs, increased enrollment goals and continued improvements to the Jackson campus.
“It’s a giant step forward to enable this university to advance its mission in a bold way,” Union President David S. Dockery said of the 2006-2007 budget. “While it is a bold step, it simultaneously is a carefully planned, fiscally responsible step, balancing and prioritizing needs across the campus. For the support of the board of trustees in this important decision, we are most grateful.”
The $50 million budget is a $4.4 million increase over the 2005-2006 budget, the largest dollar increase in Union’s history.
Trustees also selected Morris Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, as the recipient of this year’s M.E. Dodd Award, the highest denominational service award Union gives. It is named for the man who was a Union alumnus, served as president of the SBC and who was the father of today’s Cooperative Program.
“Morris Chapman is a leading statesman and champion of the Cooperative Program across the Southern Baptist Convention,” Dockery said. “He rightly deserves the recognition as an heir of the great M.E. Dodd.”
Last year’s Dodd Award recipient was former Bellevue Baptist Church pastor Adrian Rogers.
In addition, Union trustees affirmed Gregory Alan Thornbury as the new dean of the School of Christian Studies. Elected in March, Thornbury has been on the Union faculty since 1999.
“Greg Thornbury is perhaps the brightest young theologian in Baptist life today,” Dockery said. “His deep commitments to the church, to Baptist life, to Union University, to the orthodox Christian faith and to the vision of this institution make him an ideal person to lead the expanding work of the School of Christian Studies.”
Trustees also heard reports of the construction progress on the White Hall science building and reviewed the necessary information to prepare for the forthcoming accrediting reaffirmation process by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.